Sister Donna Marie Kleinsorge, CSA

Sister Donna Marie Kleinsorge, CSA, formerly known as Sister Cornelius, died peacefully on May 13, 2022, at Nazareth Center in Fond du Lac, WI.

Donna Marie was born on March 13, 1934, in Dresden, KS, the oldest daughter of George A. Kleinsorge, Sr., and Dorothy Mildred Dempewolf Kleinsorge.  She grew up on her family farm with one brother and four sisters. Donna Marie entered St. Agnes Convent in 1949 and graduated from St. Agnes High School in 1952. She made her first profession of vows in the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes as Sister Cornelius on August 15, 1954, in Fond du Lac, WI.

Sister Donna Marie was a Licensed Practical Nurse receiving her diploma from the Fond du Lac Vocational School in 1958. In 1979, she received a BS in Human Relations from Marian College, Fond du Lac, WI, and later took courses in Music Therapy from Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI. She continually attended classes in health care and health services to keep herself professionally updated. Sister Donna Marie’s educational pursuits and her many natural talents allowed her to serve in a variety of ministries throughout her years in religious life. She had a particular love for the elderly and relished attending to their needs.  

Her varied ministries included serving in parish school settings as a classroom teacher, music teacher, and housekeeper for her CSA sisters in Nanty Glo, PA, Kewaskum, WI, and Hudson, WI. In Fond du Lac, she worked on the nursing staff of St. Agnes Hospital, the Sisters’ Infirmary at St. Agnes Convent, and at the Boyle Home for the Aged. She was the organist at the Leo House in New York City and in Fond du Lac at the Boyle Home and Nazareth Heights Infirmary. In 1979 she became Assistant Activity Director at St. Vincent-St. Joseph Rehabilitation Campus in Freeport, IL.  Sister moved to Kansas in 1982 working first in the Good Samaritan Center in Hays as a Music Therapist, Volunteer Coordinator, and Day Care Coordinator. In 1986, she ministered as a pastoral associate at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Smith Center, KS. She went on to serve as Health Service Coordinator at the Adult Day Care Center in Leawood, KS, and at Rush County Nursing Home in La Crosse, KS.  For eight years (1991–1999), Sister Donna Marie was the LPN Director at Grand Generation Adult Day Care Center in Grand Island, NE.  She spent her last years in active ministry serving as a pastoral associate at Sacred Heart Parish in Colby, KS, and as a volunteer among the elderly offering a ministry of care and presence through her arts and crafts projects, her advocacy efforts, her caregiver relief services and by being a telephone companion for the elderly who lived alone or had no family.

In July of 2014, Sister Donna Marie returned to Fond du Lac and became a resident at Nazareth Court and Center where she lived with her CSA sisters and received care until the time of her death.

Sister Donna Marie was preceded in death by her parents George A. and Dorothy M. Kleinsorge and her sister, Melva Jean Edmonds.

Sister is survived by her brother George, her sisters Sister Vivian Kleinsorge, CSA, Evelyn Henderson, and Eleanora Hanna, and the Sisters of St. Agnes, with whom she lived, prayed and ministered.

Visitation will be held on Monday, May 23, 2022, from 9:45 am–11:00 a.m. and 12:00–1:30 p.m. at Nazareth Court and Center, 375 Gillett Street, Fond du Lac, WI. A Prayer Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Please check in for the Visitation and Prayer Service at the 375 Gillett Street entrance only.  

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for Sister Donna Marie at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, May 23, 2022, at St. Francis Home Chapel, 33 Everett Street, Fond du Lac, WI, with Father James Leary, OFM Cap., presiding. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Springs Cemetery, Fond du Lac, WI.

Memorials may be directed to the CSA Mission Advancement Office, 320 County Road K, Fond du Lac, WI 54937.

The Sisters of St. Agnes are grateful to the nurses and staff of Nazareth Court and Center, St. Francis Home, and Hospice Hope for their care of Sister Donna Marie.

Zacherl Funeral Home is serving the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes.